Summary: In our pursuit of godly character we must recommit ourselves to doing family God’s way: children submit and parents nurture in God’s ways.

Character Counts! Family Matters

(Ephesians 6:1-4)

Theme: God created the family to reflect His character.

Purpose: What do I want to happen in the hearer when I preach this sermon?

A. Increased insight. After I preach this sermon, the hearer should be able to see that the American family is under intense attack and is crumbling all around us.

B. Increased knowledge. After I preach this sermon, the hearer should be able to state that:

1. The role of children is to be under the authority of their parents. This requires submission and obedience.

2. The role of parents is to nurture, admonish, and encourage a child to adulthood rather than provoking them to wrath by discouraging them.

C. Changed attitude. After I preach this sermon, I want the hearer to determine to recommit to nurturing a godly family.

Need to be

Surfaced: The breakdown of the family threatens to destroy us as a culture.

Solution to

be Offered: God?s solution is simple: children humbly submit and parents mentor into Christian discipleship so that each generation grows up into adults that are in favor with both God and with others.

Introduction. (Get attention, surface need, make a contract to deliver a solution.)

A. Little Johnny says that his dad is a bum!

1. Little Johnny is 8 years old and the only child of divorced parents.

2. He lives with his mom, whom he adores, and visits his dad (and his dad?s latest girlfriend) twice a month.

3. Johnny?s dad never could be satisfied to derive his status and significance from his role as husband and father.

4. He fell into the modern trap that began to develop in the late 19th century and became the norm in the 20th:

a) A man?s value and status is derived from the world outside the home.

b) His occupational standing and his economic power determine his worth as a person.

c) These things also determine his authority in the home and his worthiness as a father and as a husband.

5. What Johnny?s dad has experienced is a shift in our culture:

a) Being a parent used to carry with it an ascribed value ? you were respected and honored because of the role you filled.

b) Now parenthood, as with almost everything else in our culture, carries with it only an achieved value ? you are respected and honored only to the extent that you earn it.

6. What is so confusing about all of this is determining how and when a parent has done enough to earn the honor and respect of their family.

a) Little Johnny thinks his dad?s a bum because daddy never shows up at his birthday parties. (The extravagant gifts, although certainly enjoyed, ultimately do not make up for daddy?s absence).

b) Johnny?s mom is in a quandary because, although she does not like hearing Johnny call his father a bum, she really can?t begrudge the little guy?s judge of character.

B. The result?

1. Confusion within the family.

2. Confusion within the culture.

3. A crisis that threatens to destroy us as a people.

4. But, as always, God gives us the answer. It is simple and yet it is comprehensive.

C. Outline:

1. Children must obey and honor your parents.

2. Parents must not provoke but nurture your children.

I. Children ? Obey and Honor Your Parents, Ephesians 6:1-3.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honor thy father and mother (which is the first commandment with promise), 3 that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

A. Obey.

1. u`pakou,ete:

a) To listen, to hearken, to answer.

b) The duty of the porter to identify the person who has knocked on the door, Acts 12:13.

c) To be submissive to the command of or to the authority of another.

2. Children are under authority:

a) Therefore, you must be in submission.

b) This is the defining characteristic of childhood.

c) The pendulum is always swinging from one extreme to the other:

(1) Children are second-class citizens ? better seen and not heard.

(2) Children are the center of the universe.

d) Neither of these extremes are godly.

e) Children are extremely important but because of their inexperience in life God has placed them under the authority of their parents and expects them to live in submission to their parents ? to obey.

B. Honor.

1. ti,ma:

a) To estimate.

b) To fix the value.

c) To reverence.

d) To venerate.

2. To listen respectfully.

3. You don’t have to agree.

4. But, you must humbly listen so as to discern those things that are of value.

a) Some cultures still honor the aged.

b) Unfortunately, ours is not one of them.

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